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One of the most popular stage musicals in the history of Broadway and London's West End makes its long-awaited arrival on the motion-picture screen ...Show synopsisOne of the most popular stage musicals in the history of Broadway and London's West End makes its long-awaited arrival on the motion-picture screen in this lavish adaptation directed by Joel Schumacher. Christine (Emmy Rossum) is a beautiful and gifted young woman who longs to join the company of the Paris Opera House. During rehearsals for one of the opera's grand productions, a backdrop falls and crashes to the floor, nearly crushing leading lady Carlotta (Minnie Driver). When several members of the company suggest this could be the work of the "Phantom of the Opera," a spectral presence said to haunt the building, Carlotta drops out of the show, and the fates permit Christine to step in as her replacement. Christine's performance is a triumph, and on opening night she becomes reacquainted with Raoul (Patrick Wilson), a former childhood friend who is now a wealthy and well-known nobleman. Christine soon finds herself smitten with the handsome Raoul, but the same evening she makes a startling discovery -- the story of the Phantom is not just a legend. A brilliant but horribly disfigured composer (Gerard Butler) lives deep in the depths of the opera house, and taken with the beauty of Christine's voice, he abducts her and brings her to his lair, where he offers to help her perfect her talents, offering to write an opera especially for her. As the terrified Christine is comforted by Raoul, the two fall in love, but the phantom sees her affection for Raoul as a tremendous betrayal, and the jealous phantom nearly kills Christine as he nearly killed Carlotta. When the phantom emerges to present the opera's management with the piece he has written for Christine, the singer is asked to put her life on the line in an effort to capture the mad genius once and for all. Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version of Gaston Leroux's novel, which had already enjoyed several stage and screen adaptations in the past, opened in London in 1986 and has been a popular favorite around the world ever since; the show was still running in New York and London when the film version premiered in late 2004. ~ Mark Deming, RoviHide synopsis
As for favorite Phantom adaptations, this is pretty far down the list. Gerard Butler's acting is only mediocre, Emmy Rossum's is better but not by much, the Phantom's face only looks burned and he isn't all that ugly really and pretty much stays handsome, doesn't really make people believe he's a madman, Gerard Butler really doesn't have an training in singing and it shows; it's not an appropriate role for him to play, a few things are changed, it doesn't shine like the show does, although Patrick Wilson makes a great Raoul.
It doesn't hold a candle to the stage production, but it gets expensive going to the theatre and this is a way you can watch the story again and again without having to do that. The music is basically the same and therefore beautiful, and it's not completely terrible. The effects and location are very good too, However, I really wish they would have just filmed the stage production like they did with Cats. Andrew Lloyd Webber was just trying to get more money from Phantom once again.
I love Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage version of the phantom. the music is excellent, magical, and romantic. The film had the music, but none of the stage version's charm. Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum pale in comparison to Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman.
Gerard Butler is a very handsome man and apparently stays that way even after being unmasked. His deformed side is barely anything to stare twice at and mostly acheived through dramatic lighting. In the stage version at least when he removed his mask the phantom was very ugly. Here it is barely worth all the drama. Worse Gerard Butler tends to over act making his phant appear goofy in serious parts of the film.
Emmy Rossum does better acting wise than Gerard Butler, but she lacks chemistry with the Phantom or Raoul. Patrick Wilson really shines as Raoul. He did the romantic lead well, much different from his roles in Angels in America or Hard Candy. He is an excellent actor who gives one hundred percent to the film.
Lines have been altered from the stage production and the chandelier crash is rightfully moved towards the end of the picture. The added drama of Raoul sword fighting with the phantom or him being trapped under water and nearly killed comes across as cheesey. They were not neccessary for the drama and served to take up time.
This is still a good adaptation if only for Webber's musical score. Its fun to watch and Gerard Butler does make a handsome phantom.